Working from home as a full-time freelance web developer I’ve encountered some absolutely stunning lines from clients and so have friends of mine. This is a small collection of those lines to watch out for if you choose to go into the field yourself.
1. If you do this one for free…
This has to be one of the most popular. People always want something for as little as possible, the notion of ‘you get what you pay for’ normally doesn’t register until at least eighteen years old, but the notion can be ignored at ages high above this.
2. This will be great exposure…
This usually comes before number 1, ‘If you do this one for free you’ll get great exposure’. The problem is great exposure isn’t a link in the footer and it isn’t a mention in the launch post. Great exposure is guaranteed jobs afterwards, and lots of traffic for your own personal site – that and possibly free advertising in a prominent placement.
Some clients want you to effectively work for free. No deposit and lots of free work = one starving freelancer. To be free to accept work that doesn’t involve deposits be sure to have some money stored away to eat away at until the client pays in the end. Make sure they are trustable and will pay in the end. Be sure to do your research.
4. Can I put this on my GeoCities?
It takes the breath out of you, working on something for a long time and then a client asking you if they can put it on an incompatible hosting platform that won’t support it. It makes for some difficult explaining but makes one great entry on a ‘ten things you hope the client never says’ article.
5. I’ve changed my mind, I don’t want it anymore
This is always an annoyance, and is sometimes a requirement in order to progress onto other projects. But it’s always something that will affect you on a personal level.
6. Ok can you just add this, and this
“You want money for the additions? You said you’d do everything for a set price!’. This one starts a lot of arguments and can affect your relationship with the client dramatically depending on how you react. To prevent this one blowing up on you always outline a clear feature set before starting work and outline exactly what you’ll deliver. Also outline what additional costs will be monetarily to the client. Will they be by the hour? Or a fixed fee? Discussed on arrangement? Whatever it is – it’s always best to plan these things out beforehand.
7. I just need you to look the other way whilst we break this law..
Whether it be tax law (it usually is) or some kind of pass the parcel – breaking the law is bad, um kay? Be sure to brush up on your tax laws that apply to you – make sure that if your hired to do a job for a company as an employee that they are handling your taxes, and if you are a contractor that you sort out your own. It always helps to know a small amount of law, and to consult an accountant when you aren’t sure of something.
8. My mum says that she won’t let me use her credit card so I can’t pay you
Funny, but a huge cringe worthy moment. It happens to all of us once in a blue moon, and it makes a fun entry.
9. Yahoo! will buy us
This is normally followed by number 1 and/or 2. People get bought all the time – but it’s simply not the case that millions are involved with every purchase of another site. Yahoo! may buy anywhere between one and tens of sites a year, but that’s between one and tens of several million websites out there.
10. Nothing at all
The client disappears, drops off the face of the earth. It’s your worst nightmare, they get you started on a project and leave, they give you a brief about a project tell you the deposit is coming and then you never hear from them. To avoid this make sure you always have a backup plan and if you can get a secondary contact for your client – that’s even better.